We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Peterson Vincent, LPC and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ashley, what’s your definition for success?
What I’ve learned through starting my own business, my career and education is that my definition of success is always evolving. At the beginning of my career, success was completing my education, gaining licensure and starting the work. It was very simple and specific because the road to becoming a therapist is outlined, you just have to follow it- no short cuts offered or available! When I began working with clients and using a person centered perspective, I learned that success doesn’t have to be an end game- success is what you learn along the way. Success is the missteps, failed attempts and at times, things that feel like set backs. Success is awareness of change, whether that be the ways you have changed or what needs to change. When I started my therapy practice, success was being booked and busy! Once the pandemic hit and I learned that self care is paramount, my idea of booked and busy shifted to reflection and rest. I stopped trying to meet this imaginary standard that measured my dedication and passion to my work by the amount of clients I was able to help on a daily/weekly basis. I remembered that sometimes if you want to help a community, it can require building a community of helpers. The idea of success then morphed again to include building out to build up. I hired my first Resident Therapist in 2020 and another in 2021 and another in 2022! Success isn’t mine to own, so I work hard to share it while empowering others to experience it. In this current moment success to me is balance, restorative rest, empowerment of others and continuing to invest in myself.

What should our readers know about your business?
Ashley Peterson Counseling Services is a Mental Health Private Practice that offers professional counseling services to persons of all ages. We treat a myriad of conditions, disorders and provide evidence based supports. We offer relationship counseling, individual counseling, family counseling and counseling services for children and adolescents.

Therapy is a business unlike other typical businesses in that what sets us apart is going to be dependent on what that client specifically is looking for in a therapist. What you can expect from any of our therapists is investments in helping you reach your goals, increasing your self awareness and some laughs along the way. Therapy is not just a space for crying and what people sometimes view as negative emotions. Therapy is also a place to celebrate your success, discuss current events, social media things and sharing memes, reels and TikTok’s.

I got to where I am today by working through my imposter syndrome/self doubt. Whenever I start to think I can’t do something or I’m not ready for something, I ask myself “why not me”, and I have yet to offer up any rational reason to myself of why I can’t go after everything I want.

When I was started my business I didn’t know how to run a business I just knew how to provide therapy. I remember complaining to my husband about how hard it was in the beginning and he asked me if I thought it was going to be easy, which was very grounding for me. Sometimes when you are in it all you can feel are the waves crashing, you completely forget that you have trained for these waves and that you know how to swim! So, I took a breath, remembered my training and I started swimming. I identified all the things that I did not know how to do; creating a website, insurance, billing, bookkeeping, financial advisement and I started to establish a team of black women that I trusted who could help me. I always tell my clients you don’t have to know everything, you just have to know where to go to get the information or assistance. It’s always easier to get where you’re going when you have help along the way.

Another huge lesson that I’ve learned immediately after opening my practice in 2019, was the importance of being flexible and being able to adjust your plan in real time. Shifting my practice from in person to 100% virtual was not in the original plan, but plans be damned in a pandemic. Traded in my babe cave for a home office, purchased all necessary equipment and furniture and I got to work! I’m very proud that the services I provided my clients had no interruptions! I also learned how adaptable with the absence of time to entertain worst case scenarios. This has also presented me with new ideas and opportunities and the ability to reach more people who were unable to make it into an office outside of the pandemic.

I would want the world to know that my brand and my story is just beginning. It’s a story about not counting yourself out, it’s about resilience and recognizing there is strength in support. There is so much that I want to do, so many ways that I want to help and it’s happening. It’s also a testament to my faith in myself. I knew I could do what I’ve done and I know I can do what I have planned, because why not me?

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would say if you are in NoVa the areas would be Arlington for night they have a lot of bars and restaurants, Old Towne Alexandria for day vibes it’s on the waterfront and Tysons for shopping. My favorite restaurant is a Family owned restaurant in Springfield, VA that serves the best Peruvian food- Beef Lomo Saltado! If you’re vegan, Vegan Gem LLC has the best Fried shroom sandwich and dog treats. DC is a stones throw away, so def the National Harbor, Waterfront, U street and H street.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate my shout out to my Mom and Dad. My Mom is who I have modeled my success after. She is my hero and taught me about the importance of personal accountability when working towards your dreams and has supported me every step of the way. My Dad passed away in 2010, but I continue to feel him with me on my journey and know that he would echo my Mom in being so proud of me.

Website: www.ashleypetersoncounseling.com

Instagram: @apcounselingdmv

Linkedin: Ashley Peterson Vincent

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